Trump Trumps Bush: Electoral Legitimacy in U.S. Presidential Elections

28 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2017 Last revised: 27 Aug 2018

See all articles by Rafael Treibich

Rafael Treibich

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics

Martin Van der Linden

Utah State University - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: August 23, 2018

Abstract

In the United States, the legitimacy of presidents who do not obtain a majority of the popular vote is often questioned. Debates on electoral legitimacy tend to revolve around the relative importance of the Electoral College and the popular vote. We develop a theory of electoral legitimacy judgments when legitimacy depends on these two factors. Under natural restrictions on these judgments, the legitimacy of some candidates can be unambiguously compared. In particular, we show that D. Trump’s election was more legitimate than G.W. Bush’s 2000 election. We also show that Trump’s election remains one of the most contentious in history.

Suggested Citation

Treibich, Rafael and Van der Linden, Martin, Trump Trumps Bush: Electoral Legitimacy in U.S. Presidential Elections (August 23, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3058183 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3058183

Rafael Treibich

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

Martin Van der Linden (Contact Author)

Utah State University - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Logan, UT 84322-1400
United States

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